Nov 26, 2012, 10.19 AM IST | Source: PTI

CHIDAMBARAM-OPPN 2

CHIDAMBARAM-OPPN 2

Underlining the urgency to re-start the investment engine, Underlining the urgency to re-start the investment engine, Chidambaram said the government proposes to push through the proposal to set up National Investment Board (NIB) soon with a view to expeditiously clearing large investment projects. "My philosophy is better to make a start with what you can do and then try to improve upon and achieve what you want to do. Let me assure all of you that the flame of reforms is alive. We will push ahead with reform, we will get out of this turf, we will get back to high growth path," he added. Having grown by about 8 per cent in the two years, India's growth rate slipped to nine-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2011-12 and during the current fiscal it could drop further to 5.8 per cent. On the issue of new banking licences, Chidambaram said, "I am keen that there should be more banks. The policy was announced by my predecessor in his budget speech in a year and half ago. This government's intention is to urge the RBI to quickly finalise the guidelines." As regards the authority of the Reserve Bank to issue new banking licences, the Minister said: "Whatever powers, whatever authority there was in 1993, remains on the law books today. In fact there are more power and authority now in place." His statement assumes significance in view of the reluctance of the RBI to move ahead with the policy of granting new bank licences in absence of changes in the Banking Regulation Act, which are awaiting approval of Parliament. "We can not open another 10,000 branches. We can not reach 50 per population that is unbanked or unserved by the bank. We can not inject more competition that is required unless we allow more banks to come in play. I hope that support of all of you and support of Parliament, we will be able to make progress in licencing new banks", he added. PTI IAS BEN BKS JD NKD CS DKR

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